Grace Kao's Reviews > Team Human

Team Human by Sarah Rees Brennan
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's review
Jul 03, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: young-adult

This was an incredibly charming read. Parodies work best when they retain affection for the material they're parodying, and Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan definitely love their vampire novels. There's no cheesy love triangles (honestly, how many of those can we have nowadays? I have love-triangle-fatigue), but there is a choice that has to be made, and as the title itself indicates, the root of love triangles isn't choosing between two people - it's choosing between two lives. Team Human or Team Vampire refers, not to hot supernatural beings, but to two choices about what kind of person to be, and in the end, true love can't hold a candle to the love you have for yourself. And the best thing is that these authors get that.

What else. The vampires living alongside humans in New Whitby are tackled realistically - that is, with a sense of humor. Laughter is the theme of this novel because, as mentioned frequently in the novel, it is the most human thing we do. I also appreciate that the choice of transitioning into a vampire is given very real consequences.

And how much do I love the characters? Mel is a snarky, sometimes obnoxious, fiercely protective girl who is in love with laughing, her friends, and being human. Cathy, who could easily fall into a pit of being a flat character for the sake of poking fun at romantic heroines, is actually given the chance to develop depth. Francis, our love interest vampire, is hilarious. And Kit is wonderful: ridiculously clueless, new at this whole human thing, but oh-so-good at it. And then there's Anna and Ty, great supporting characters who have their own things going on (definitely appreciated. Sometimes, I wonder if supporting characters in other books just sit around waiting for the protagonists to swan into their lives again).

Breath of fresh air for the young adult supernatural romance genre. (That sounds made-up, but... er, I don't think it is.)
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